Tuesday, June 28, 2016

6-28-2016 Tribute to Jess Flores #2

Jess played every Tuesday night for the past few years at Driftwood Beach Bar & Pizza Shack, so they hosted another big 
tribute concert and fundraiser for the family. Musicians came from across Belize to perform.  It was another amazing, emotional night.

Irene has a beautiful voice and sang a lovely tribute improvised earlier in the day from one of Jess' songs.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

6-26-2016 Tribute to Jess Flores

Renaigius David Flores (aka Jess Flores)
Sunrise: October 1, 1958
Sunset: June 21, 2016
Jess Flores was one of the first people we had the honor of meeting and getting to know when we came to Hopkins, Belize.
He was an amazing musician who worked hard to keep alive the Garifuna music and culture. He was warm and kind and
generous.  Whether at performances around the village or just hanging out, we saw him at least once or twice a week, and his
friendship is greatly missed.

Our friend Trevor had played music with Jess for several years, so when he heard about Jess' passing he flew in and organized
a tribute concert in the village. Since we're living in Trevor's house right now, everyone came over to practice on our front
porch all afternoon before the concert. The usual musicians, as well as several amazing guests performed.

Jess' young son, "Pappy", played the maracas (locally called shakas - sp?) all afternoon and at the
concert that night.

At just 6 years old he has definite natural music talent!

The music was incredible - especially on the front porch!

It was also incredibly emotional for everyone there.

That night was the concert in the park at the main junction in Hopkins. Pretty much the whole village came out, plus a bus
full of people from Dangriga.

It rained, but that didn't dampen the scene. Everybody loved the really beautiful tribute.

To hear some of Jess' music and read more about him, go to the memorial site we set up at www.jessflores.family/

Saturday, June 25, 2016

6-25-2016 Placencia Lobsterfest

Saturday morning we decided to head south to Lobsterfest in Placencia.
Some friends, Siobhan and Walter, went with us, and we had a great time
checking out the event and walking around the village.

It wasn't cheap, but you could get lobster in all kinds of meals: whole grilled lobster, grilled lobster tails, lobster tacos,
lobster quesadillas, lobster ceviche, lobster pasta, lobster spring rolls, lobster muffins, etc.

We ran into Cyril from Belize in America - of course, he was taking pictures to document the event for his website.

Here Cyril is taking a picture of the winner of the Beer Drinking Contest (the guy was from Boston).

It was a hot, sunny day, but there was a nice breeze off the ocean.

Inside the sports bar at the Tipsy Tuna - love the indoor sand floor!

Sunday, June 19, 2016

6-19-2016 Fathers Day was Election Day

This day was Election day for Village Council.  It was a local election and there was a lot of interest.  We were able to vote.

At night there was a small Fathers Day party at Marks.  At about 10 all of a sudden a giant sea turtle came up and laid eggs.  We really didn't know if turtles were easily spooked so we didn't take any pictures or do anything like that.  We did get some pictures of the scene the next morning.
This was where the eggs were laid

Look at the tracks as the turtle walked ashore

From the disturbances in the sand it looked like she dug some test holes

The turtle was as wide as the chair

We did take a couple of pictures when she was done

There she is

Sunday, June 12, 2016

6-12-2016 Karlan's Going Away Beach Day

Our friend Karlan is returning to Alaska for the (cooler) summer, so she decided to have a day enjoying the beach with friends
before leaving. It was certainly hot enough to appreciate the beach, but the shade and strong breeze kept everyone cool
enough that three of us had to convince ourselves to actually get in and swim - glad we did though.

Karlan, the one putting away her violin, is the one leaving.  :(  We will miss her and her music.

It was extremely relaxing and enjoyable hanging out on the beach with friends.

It was a perfect potluck picnic - chips and homemade hummus, bean & corn salsa, fresh mango
salsa, plus watermelon and mango slices.

Thanks, Karlan, and bon voyage - we hope to see you back in Belize!

Sunday, June 5, 2016

6-4 to 6-5-2016 Graduation Party & PG

A friend's daughter graduated from Toledo Community College, and we got to go to the celebration in his village (in the
Toledo District of southern Belize). It took place in the new church right next to their house. In this picture the graduate is at
the podium at the front saying a few words of thanks.

After words from the graduate and her father, there was basically a church service, which was delivered in a mix of Spanish,
and Kekchi Mayan, with a little English thrown in here and there. We couldn't understand a lot of what was said, but the
preacher's delivery method was much like a "fire and brimstone" Southern Baptist sermon. Pretty much the whole village was
there, as well a lot of people from the nearby villages, probably, and that kind of community support was beautiful to see. The
benches were all full, and we stood with loads of people under the shade of the nearby trees.

There were live musicians accompanying the preacher and playing religious songs - fun, upbeat sounding songs - not the
solemn hymns we grew up with. People clapped to the beat, and the kids were all happy and singing along.

After the service people started bringing plates of food for everyone - plates mounded with rice & beans, chicken and pork.

The proud graduate, Florentina, with her diploma - congrats!!!  

After the party we headed just a little further south to Punta Gorda (PG) for the night. We met up with a friend there, checked
out a small event that was happening in the town square, had dinner, and stayed up late talking.

The lovely view from our friend Patrick's place, where he was nice enough to put us up for the night.

Not much goes on in PG on a Sunday, so after breakfast we headed back home to Hopkins.

Farewell Punta Gorda - until next time!

You may have to zoom in, but this is a guy on a bicycle carrying lumber on his shoulder. It's not uncommon to see people
hauling all kinds of big, heavy objects on their bicycles, which we're thinking takes some talent, especially with the state of
the roads in Belize.